April 9, 2012
A view at Mt. Whitney (photo: Becky Beamish)
The weather remained periodically windy and cooler than normal in the Eastern Sierra this spring.
Our record of success started to grow with the fourth and fifth Whitney climbs both racking up 100% successes. Then we just got word from the sixth and final Whitney team whose summit day was today. It was windy all last night and they got a late start for the summit today. Winds continued to gust as high as 50 mph today, and most of the team hiked up to Iceberg Lake, 11,300 feet before turning back due to the weather. They will descend all the way to Whitney Portal today, and have the option of going rock climbing in Owens River Gorge tomorrow on their final day.
So the record for this year was not stellar, but not too bad either:
Mt. Whitney #1 March 22-25, Summit!
Mt. Whitney #2 March 24-27, turned back at first camp due to weather, finished the trip with a day of ice climbing and a day of rock climbing.
Mt. Whitney #3 March 29-April 1, turned back just short of the summit at 14,000 feet due to high winds
Mt. Whitney #4 March 31-April 3, Summit!
Mt. Whitney #5 April 5-8, Summit!
Mt. Whitney #6 April 7-10, turned back at Iceberg Lake, 11,300 feet due to high winds.
For the record, we were 50% to the summit this year, which is by my reckoning the worst success rate we have ever had for these programs in the spring. We’ll hope for a return to the usual good Sierra weather next spring.
My sincere thanks to all who participated in the Whitney climbs this spring. What a fun time, I wouldn’t miss it for the world. I’ll hope to see you next year!